Thirty-six percent say the stimulus has made things better, up from 25 percent in July. The percentage who says it has had no impact has fallen from 57 percent to 46 percent. Thirteen percent say the stimulus has made things worse.
Nearly half of Americans – 47 percent – expect the stimulus to have a positive impact in the long run. Roughly one in four expect it to have no impact, while another 21 percent say it will ultimately have a negative impact.
Fifty-two percent say the stimulus package will eventually create jobs, though just seven percent say it has already done so. Thirty-eight percent say the package will never create jobs.
Americans continue to have an overwhelmingly negative perception of the economy. Just 22 percent say it is in good shape, while 77 percent say it is in bad shape. Perceptions did improve slightly over the summer.
Thirty-six percent say the economy is getting better, while 17 percent say it is getting worse. A plurality – 46 percent – believe the economy is staying the same. Three in ten Americans are very concerned about household job loss.
Asked about the country's most important problem, 41 percent pointed to the economy and jobs. Though that is by far the leading category, the percentage is down from 56 percent in July.
Another 19 percent cited health care and health insurance, while three percent pointed to the budget, the national debt and the deficit.
Mr. Obama's approval rating on the economy stands at 50 percent.
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This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1042 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone September 19-23, 2009. Phone numbers were dialed from random digit dial samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.
This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.